Pelosi picks three for debt-reduction joint committee

Amanda Carey Contributor
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced her three picks Thursday for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, rounding out the 12-person legislative roster.

Pelosi’s picks are Minority Whip Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Rep. Xavier Becerra of California.

The rest of the committee members on the House side, chosen by Speaker of the House John Boehner, are Republican Conference Chair Jeb Hensarling of Texas, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp of Michigan, and Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton of Michigan.

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Patty Murray of Washington.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s picks are Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

Murray is attracting criticism for her other role as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

There, her sole job is to raise the money necessary for Democrats to hold on to seats in 2012, and to flip Republican-held seats into the Democratic column. Critics say this dual role could compromise her judgment on a committee where she is expected to negotiate with GOP members.

The joint committee is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the coming months, before President Barack Obama can request a second debt limit increase.